Every parent brings up their children in different ways. There’s no right way to parent. There’s no secret formula you can follow to make you the perfect parent. How much easier would it be if there was?! Every parent has their own way of doing things, and nobody has the right to tell you that’s right or wrong. Sometimes it can depend on what kind of child you have. Every child is different, and so every parent will have a different approach.
I’m going to be talking you through the different types of parenting styles and then try and fit myself into one of them categories. I will also be giving my personal opinion, which holds no judgement or expertise, to each style.
Different Types Of Parenting Styles
The Attached Parent
The attached parent usually applies to Mums. It’s the approach that an early, close bond is the way to go. This might include extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping or baby wearing. Basically if you find yourself constantly attached to your child in some way, then you might be an attached parent. I feel for these parents when it’s toilet time.
My personal opinion of this style is that it will essentially give you such a strong bond with your child. If you want your child to be around you 24/7 and to rely on you for emotional and physical support, then this is the approach for you. Personally, as a Dad, this wouldn’t work for me, as I feel Austin should have some independence, even from an early age. Also, sometimes he just wants his Mum.
The Conscious Parent
A conscious parent takes on the role of an influencer, rather an a disciplinarian. Rules are not always top of the list in terms of priorities. This parenting style takes the approach that the child’s opinions and choices are up to them. A more laid back style which allows the child to take lead.
I see plenty of benefits to this parenting style. Children should be heard, and their opinions taken into consideration. I always try to allow Austin to choose what he wants to do, and make his own choices. Even if that choice is a wrong one, it’s the best way for him to learn.
The Holistic Parent
The holistic parent is also an approach that puts discipline far down the pecking order. This type of parent is very conscious of how their children’s actions affect others. It’s a more natural approach that focuses on loving yourself and the world.
This type of parenting holds many qualities that are vitally important for any child. Teaching them to respect others and look after the environment. I believe this approach can have many good outcomes for a child, however pushing them too far this way can have the opposite effect.
The Slow/Free-Range Parent
If you like to let your children run free and explore then this might be your parenting style. Children are given freedom and time to explore the world at their own leisure, providing it is safe to do so.
I feel like this is the approach that I would fall into the most. I firmly believe in children learning from exploring and finding their own interests. Too much structure can restrict their development. Kids should be allowed to be kids, so let them roam free. Get messy and scrape the occasional knee. It doesn’t do them any harm. As long as Austin is in the safe zone then he is free to explore.
The Permissive Parent
Permissive parents tend not to have many rules or discipline, but let their children make their own ways in life. The kids are in charge with this style, and saying “no” to them just isn’t worth the hassle.
I am firmly against this style of parenting. Children need boundaries and rules, otherwise they will run riot. There is a difference between being lenient with a child, and letting them get away with murder. In my own parenting journey, I will allow Austin to have as much freedom as he wants, but he needs to keep within the boundaries that I have set. I’m not afraid to say no to him, if it’s for his own good. If he plays by the rules, he can have the whole world from me.
The Authoritative Parent
If authority is the foundations for your parenting, then maybe you are an authoritative parent. This is usually passed down from the older generation of tough love and obedience. Authoritative parents believe that rules and orders are the way to develop a child’s future. Expectations will be set of how children should act and behave.
I do believe that this style of parenting has it’s benefits. Children these days are soft, and spoilt to the extreme. One of the reasons why we have so many young people who are unappreciative of what they have. I am strongly against many aspects of this style however. For example, I would never smack my child for misbehaving, which was once an everyday form of punishment. I also think that children who are shaped too much by boundaries and rules will often resist at some stage, due to their lack of freedom.
The Tiger Parent
Tiger parents are often proud parents. They are strict and place huge significance on academic achievements and success. Getting their children right to the top is the dream for these parents.
I admire parents who want their children to succeed. Parents who are passionate and will do anything for their child to make it to where they want to be. There is a very fine line between guiding a child, and pressuring them. For me, Austin will make me proud everyday. His career and his path in life will be solely down to him though. I’ll never push him in any direction. Austin will have every bit of guidance and support he needs, but his life is his own.
The Helicopter Parent
These are the parents that like to hover over their children’s every move. Safety and monitoring are the priority of these parents. Harm will never become of these children, because helicopter parents are always close by to stop it at it’s source.
I sometimes get this parenting style, in scenarios where that child is literally your entire world, or if that child has additional needs that requires them to be monitored more closely. In my own parenting journey, especially at the beginning, I’ve been guilty of this. You see your child as this delicate flower that must be protected at every moment. As Austin has got older, I allow him to be a child more. If he wants to climb, or run, or explore, he can. Kids need to be kids sometimes, even if that means falling and hurting themselves, it’s how they learn.
The Baby-Led Parent
A rather self-explanatory style. Basically, baby is in charge. Parents will look for cues on what to do next, rather than making the decisions for them.
This is a really positive parenting style for certain scenarios, such as weaning and potty training. I do think that children need some sort of structure and routine in their lives, otherwise they will grow up thinking they are in charge. It’s really important that children are outspoken and opinionated, but understand that parents are in charge.
Looking back on all of these different types of parenting styles, I would confidently place myself in the bracket of THE FREE-RANGE PARENT. Giving children freedom and space to learn and develop is definitely my style. Giving children the tools they need to succeed and then watching them grow.
It’s important to remember that no one parenting style is the correct one, and sometimes you need to switch strategies depending on the situation.
I would love to know which parenting styles you fit into. What works best for you and your child? Let me know in the comments section below.
Find out more about different types of parenting styles here.